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Warning! Back pain isn't always about your back

by , 15 November 2013

Do you often wake up in the morning and find getting out of bed is a mission because your back is sore? Then listen up. While you may dismiss the pain as a sign that you spent too much time in front of the TV last night or that you probably should have asked for help when lifting that heavy box, your back pain may have nothing to do with your back at all.

Four out of five adults suffer from one or more bouts of back pain a year, says patient.co.uk.

And while for many, it’s just that, back pain can sometimes be a sign that there’s something seriously wrong with your health.

Back pain often masks the symptoms of other potentially serious health conditions

According to an article in the Daily Mail, back pain, particularly in women, is easily mistaken for kidney, bladder, pancreas and gallbladder problems.

The reason?

It’s all about location. After all, explains the article, “sometimes the organs can send pain signals to other parts of the body - notably the back - by a process called 'referred pain'.”

Take kidney pain for example. This ranges from “mild infection and kidney stones to acute renal failure [and] can often be mistaken for lower back pain because that's exactly where [your kidneys are] located,” explains Discovery Health.

How do you know if it's back pain or another health problem?

The answer is surprisingly simple. Look for other symptoms.

For example, if your pain is accompanied by fever, an upset stomach, smelly urine or frequent urination, it's more likely to be a sign of kidney trouble.

And that’s why you need to pay attention to what your body’s really telling you. You don’t, for example, want to land up like the 30% of patients with pancreas issues who see their GP about back pain before their problem is properly diagnosed.

It just means you’ll suffer from pain unnecessarily and your real problem will just keep getting worse.

So if you suffer from it constantly, speak to your doctor and get a full body check-up.

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